Augmented reality (AR) represents computer‐based technology and devices that facilitate augmentation of current views with digital artifacts, such as information, three‐dimensional objects, audio, and video.
Mixed reality (MR) represents an enhanced version of AR, where the digital artifacts are displayed using holographic technology and advanced spatial mapping, which enables the digital elements to not only overlay the physical world, but interact with physical objects and respond to changes in physical space.
Using MR technology, digital artifacts can be more closely integrated into the natural environment, transcending physical limitations and creating enhanced blended learning environments. One example of MR technology is the Microsoft HoloLens platform, which is a headset that provides visual display of programmable, dynamic holographic objects.
We propose an approach for integration of MR technology into the undergraduate engineering curriculum. Specifically, we propose to integrate the Microsoft HoloLens platform into a first‐year course on data structures and algorithms (DSA) to improve learning outcomes and student engagement. Traditionally, DSA is a conceptual field; it is algorithmic code that results in some optimized output. Specifically, our goal is to have students implement a graph‐based path‐finding algorithm (e.g., A* algorithm) for a practical problem scenario in the holographic environment, and then see their implementation in practice through the use of the HoloLens headsets.